Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
Thanksgiving is a time to spend with family and friends. Got Mold? is grateful to our staff, vendors, and customers. We wish them all the best on this Thanksgiving Day.
Feeling grateful or appreciative of someone or something in your life actually attracts more of the things that you appreciate and value into your life. -Northrup Christiane-
We can always find something to be thankful for, and there may be reasons why we ought to be thankful for even those dispensations which appear dark and frowning. -Albert Barnes-
Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving comes to us out of the prehistoric dimness, universal to all ages and all faiths. At whatever straws we must grasp, there is always a time for gratitude and new beginnings. -J. Robert Moskin-
A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues. -Cicero-

How Do I Prevent Mold In My Basement After a Flood?

How Do I Prevent Mold In My Basement After a Flood?
This past summer, our crews have been very busy helping flood affected residents in Southern Saskatchewan. Recently, I came across an article by Mike Holmes, recognized as Canada’s most trusted contractor, that provides some excellent advice on how you should deal with a flooded basement and how you can prevent mold.
RESOLVE THE SOURCE OF FLOODING
One of the most important considerations is to determine why your basement flooded. In short, determine the cause.
In many instances, homes flood because of backed up drains, leaky pipes, human error (ie. leaving a tap on and forgetting), sewer back ups, malfunctioning sump pumps, or the lack of a sump pump.
However, Holmes questions the value of fixing a re-finished basement if you live in a flood zone, where mother nature is the cause:
We’re getting more extreme weather, which in some cases means more precipitation. If you live on flood plains, in a floodway or near a river or stream, the risk of repeated flooding in your home is high. Ask yourself: How many basements do you want to pay for?
Excellent question!
BEGIN THE CLEAN UP IMMEDIATELY TO PREVENT MOULD/MOLD GROWTH
Holmes provides excellent advice:
If water is getting into your home, deal with it immediately because there’s the potential for mould growth — especially if your basement is finished.
According to Holmes, mold will begin to grow within 24 hours, so it is important that you get the clean up started immediately. In addition, Holmes is highly critical of the practice of using bleach and recommends that only professionals be hired because mould is a safety hazard:
Most people would just use bleach to clean mould, but that’s wrong. Any surface with over 10 square feet of mould should be cleaned only by licensed professionals. Mould is a huge safety hazard. If you don’t clean it properly, mould spores can become airborne, contaminate other areas and end up in your lungs. That’s why you hire only qualified professionals for the cleanup and rebuild.
With respect to clean up, Holmes recommends a complete gut of a flooded basement because he thinks the long term benefit of doing this far outweighs the extra costs in the short term. For instance, the standard practice is to remove only one foot of drywall above the flood line. Holmes does not recommend this because moisture can creep up behind the surface, so he recommends that all drywall be removed.
In addition, Holmes recommends the replacement of your electrical panel if it was submerged under water, and recommends that all flooring, including the sub-floor be removed. Insulation should be removed as well because it absorbs moisture. Finally, he states that caution should be taken with flood water because it could contain sewage waste.
Since water is such a destructive force, Holmes also recommends that the structural integrity of the home be investigated as well.
ENSURE THE BASEMENT IS COMPLETELY DRY BEFORE ANY REBUILD BEGINS
The most important piece of advice Holmes provides is the fact that he recommends that the basement must be completely dry before any rebuild begins. The key is to measure the humidity level and ensure that the air is cleaned properly. Third party air quality tests are recommended to ensure that the air quality is safe as well.
In short, patience is the key. Proper basement clean up takes time. Trying to fast track the process without properly ensuring that the basement is completely dry will create future moisture concerns which could lead to mold problems which will basically negate any rebuild done.

Got Mold? Cares About You and Your Pets

Got Mold? Cares About You and Your Pets
July was a busy month because of all the flood restoration work our staff was doing to help folks get back to their normal daily routines in a healthy environment.
Our Senior Project Manager, Chris Mysorek, takes pride in his work, ensuring that our flood restoration, mold remediation, and asbestos abatement teams stay organized and meet our operational standards and safety requirements.
A pet lover, when Chris learned that a cat was stuck and needed help, he decided to rescue the cat, with the help of some friends and family. Good job Chris! 🙂
Got Mold? Cares About You and Your Pets, mould removal, mold removal, asbestos abatement, asbestos removal, flood, fire, flood restoration, fire restoration, dry ice blasting, dry ice cleaning, black mold, black mould, saskatoon, regina, yorkton, calgary, high river, Saskatchewan, Alberta

Chris set up his ladder with a spotter at the bottom for safety.

Got Mold? Cares About You and Your Pets, mould removal, mold removal, asbestos abatement, asbestos removal, flood, fire, flood restoration, fire restoration, dry ice blasting, dry ice cleaning, black mold, black mould, saskatoon, regina, yorkton, calgary, high river, Saskatchewan, Alberta

Cat rescue in progress.

Got Mold? Cares About You and Your Pets, mould removal, mold removal, asbestos abatement, asbestos removal, flood, fire, flood restoration, fire restoration, dry ice blasting, dry ice cleaning, black mold, black mould, saskatoon, regina, yorkton, calgary, high river, Saskatchewan, Alberta

Happy cat, free to roam after rescue…thanks to Got Mold? 🙂

Important Post-Flooding Advice To Avoid Health Hazards

Important Post-Flooding Advice To Avoid Health Hazards
We need water to live, it brings us life. At the same time, water can be a destructive force which is a particular concern during times of flooding.
More than two weeks has past since the flooding began in Regina, Southern Saskatchewan, and parts of Alberta. Got Mold? has helped and is currently helping many flood affected residents. In the words of one of our happy customers:
I had to cut my holiday short this July (2014) because I got an emergency call that the sewage was pouring into my basement. Pouring it was because of the heavy rains in southeast Saskatchewan this summer! Well it finally stopped and I had made contact with the company Got Mold who said they would come in as soon as they can. Within a day or two my basement started to smell and look a lot better! Their staff are excellent, very professional, and able to handle these offending and hazardous materials in a very safe and sanitary manner. I would recommend Got Mold Saskatoon to anyone at any time. Thank you very much for such wonderful work. (Brenda from Regina)
The primary concern of Water Damage Restoration professionals, like Got Mold?, is not only to help bring your life back to normal, but to ensure that you stay healthy. In the areas we have surveyed and are working in, the water damage is extensive. Consequently, it is important to act quickly because mold, fungi and disease-causing bacteria thrive in water-logged environments.
There are three primary concerns caused by water damage: structural; mold and it’s impact on health; and the threat of hazardous bacteria.
1. STRUCTURAL
Indications that your home may be conducive to mold growth include the following: obvious water damage; condensation on windows; musty odors; water stains; new or increased allergy symptoms; cracked or peeling paint, loose drywall tape and/or wall paper; rusty metal (a sign of high humidity); and drawers or doors that stick.
Mold can literally eat the structure it is feeding on. In an earlier article, we mentioned that a home is an all you can eat buffet for mold because today’s building materials are the perfect food for mold: organic, dead material including wood, drywall, fabric, and paper.
In short, left unchecked, mold will degrade the structural integrity of your property and ultimately reduce its long term value if it is not dealt with.
2. HEALTH
Unfortunately, the problems caused by mold are not just cosmetic. We have written extensively on the health concerns caused by mold which are linked to Cancer, MS, Parkinson’s, Chronic Inflammatory Response Syndrome, Depression, Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, Mycotoxicosis, Asthma…Mold is Scary!
According to mycotoxin expert Dr. Harriet Ammann, exposure to indoor molds can damage the systems of your body in the following ways:
  • Vascular: blood vessel fragility, hemorrhage from tissues or lungs
  • Digestive: diarrhea, vomiting, hemorrhage, liver damage, fibrosis and necrosis
  • Respiratory: trouble breathing, bleeding from lungs
  • Neurological: tremors, loss of coordination, headaches, depression, multiple sclerosis
  • Skin: rashes, burning, sloughing, photosensitivity
  • Urinary: kidney toxicity
  • Reproductive: infertility, changes in reproductive cycles
  • Immune: Immunosuppression
  • As documented by our interviews with toxic mold survivors, long term and chronic exposure to mold has caused mycotoxicosis, literally poisoning their bodies. Furthermore, as pointed out by Michael Pinto, even a little exposure to mold can cause health issues. Bottom line, mold is a serious concern and you need to be aware of this.
    Mold is not the only health consideration, the other major issue caused by flooding is the threat of…
    3. HAZARDOUS BACTERIA
    Water provides the perfect environment for harmful bacteria to multiply. When you experience water damage, the longer you wait to begin dealing with the concern, the worse it can get. The more time water sits increases the risk of bio-hazard, meaning category 1 water can turn into category 2 water and eventually category 3 water, which is the most toxic.
    ACT IMMEDIATELY!
    To prevent the onset of mold and reduce the risk of bio-hazard, you need to act fast and begin the clean up process immediately. Ideally, you should hire a PROFESSIONAL restoration contractor and not just your contractor buddy and start the claims process with your insurance company.
    During times of crisis, and particularly because restoration contractors get over-whelmed with too many requests, many victims of flooding tend to take matters into their own hands. If you are forced to do this, then here are some key tips to keep in mind while you are waiting for your restoration professional to arrive:
  • Have the area cleared by emergency workers if you have standing water in an area where fuse boxes and/or electrical circuitry is submerged before attempting to pump out the water.
  • Turn off your gas line.
  • Wear an N95 or N100 respirator mask, available at most hardware and medical supply stores.
  • Wear rubber boots and puncture-resistant gloves. Ideally, don a polypropylene coverall.
  • Be sure to carefully dry any belongings you want to try to save.
  • Items that should be thrown out, particularly if they have been underwater include the following: carpet, carpet padding, and rugs; upholstered furniture; computers, microwaves, window A/C units, or any appliances that have fans; papers and books; and food items, including canned foods if they were in contact with flood waters.
  • We strongly advise against doing your own tear out primarily because you do not want to release potentially harmful mold or asbestos in the atmosphere. This will just make the situation worse and create more costly problems, particularly if asbestos is present and not properly abated.
    When you do meet with your restoration professional don’t be afraid to ask them how they intend to deal with your water damage restoration project. Professionals will:
  • Know how to assess the category of water and extent of damage;
  • Provide you with a scope of work that will assess structural issues based on the class of damage;
  • Outline what contents need to be removed;
  • How to deal with and remove excess water;
  • Provide you with a drying and monitoring strategy using air movers and dehumidifers; and
  • A sanitizing plan to ensure a healthy environment.
  • The primary purpose of water damage restoration is to restore the property to pre-loss condition. Once all the work is complete, hire a Third Party Environmental Consultant to perform post-remediation tests, particularly, if any mold, category 2 or 3 water was present. This final step will provide further peace of mind that the water damage restoration contractor did a professional and competent job. Once a PASS is documented on the clearance test, then confidently rebuild your property during the reconstruction phase and if you so choose, hire your friend, the contractor!
    If you have questions, call us toll free, 1-888-909-6653 or use the form below.

    When Disaster Strikes We Are Ready to Serve You!

    When Disaster Strikes We Are Ready to Serve You!
    The past two weeks and two days have been busy. Just over Two weeks ago I was on a weekend family holiday at the Temple Gardens Mineral Spa in Moose Jaw.
    That same weekend, the floods hit Regina and other areas of southern Saskatchewan and our phones started ringing. During this type of emergency there is nothing we can really do to help until the water starts to recede and has stopped entering the property. Our first step is to begin to place people on a priority list and then begin contacting them to schedule on-site appointments.
    We loaded up all of our drying equipment, tools, and protective gear and went to Regina to begin the work of water damage restoration.
    I began scoping out properties on Monday, June 30th, ending my day at midnight. One home I inspected just had a $130,000 basement remodel completed on June 25th and was now full of water. I also visited homes of family in Regina and businesses of friends from my home town, Pilot Butte. I realized the situation was grim and that my teams and I had lots of work ahead of us to properly restore our customer’s lives back to normal. But that is our job, when disaster strikes, we are here to serve you.
    When Disaster Strikes We Are Ready to Serve You_2, mould removal, mold removal, asbestos abatement, asbestos removal, flood, fire, flood restoration, fire restoration, dry ice blasting, dry ice cleaning, black mold, black mould, saskatoon, regina, yorkton, calgary, high river, Saskatchewan, Alberta

    When Disaster Strikes We Are Ready to Serve You!

    I owe a lot of thanks to my very hard working, loyal and dedicated staff who have worked tirelessly for up to 18 hours per day to help as many people as they can. We have built great teams that work fast and do an exceptional job. The past two weeks has been so intense working long hours that our core staff from Saskatoon became physically exhausted. To ensure we can do the best job possible and prevent our Saskatoon staff from getting burnt out, we have added many local Regina residents to our water damage restoration crews.
    In any emergency, family is one of the key support mechanisms you can have. Got Mold? teams and I have been working long hours to help as many residents as we can and I feel so fortunate that I can rely on my family for support. Even though my parents are getting ready to move to Medicine Hat, they have been a tremendous source of support giving me a home to rest in at the end of the day. Most importantly, my parents have been ensuring that our teams are looked after, making lunches, picking up supplies, making sure we had water, juice, and even brought watermelon to our sites so we can stay hydrated.
    My loving wife, Shauna, and children live in Saskatoon and because of the number of calls I was getting, I have been unable to return to Saskatoon on weekends. Fortunately, they surprised me when they came to Regina for a short visit. During the early stages of the disaster, we were housing our Saskatoon teams in Regina hotels, but to ensure a higher level of comfort for our hard working staff, we rented a furnished house which Shauna and her sister stocked up with groceries and other essentials to make their stay comfortable.
    When Disaster Strikes We Are Ready to Serve You_3, mould removal, mold removal, asbestos abatement, asbestos removal, flood, fire, flood restoration, fire restoration, dry ice blasting, dry ice cleaning, black mold, black mould, saskatoon, regina, yorkton, calgary, high river, Saskatchewan, Alberta

    When Disaster Strikes We Are Ready to Serve You!

    To ensure that we can meet the needs of as many residents as we can, Got Mold? has been working on bringing in other teams. First, we have already begun working with an experienced restoration contractor who did a lot of work in Calgary and High River during the 2013 Alberta floods. Second, we have asked our Calgary operation to send a team to begin taking on projects. Finally, we have been networking aggressively on LinkedIn to find other restoration contractors that want to travel to Regina and help out. Our objective is to ensure that everyone who needs help gets it.
    With any flood situation, time is critical because mold only needs 24 to 48 hours to begin growing. Consequently, every project we go to requires our workers to wear Respirators with Organic Vapour and HEPA filters to prevent mold and mycotoxins from getting in their lungs and compromising their health. In addition, We are using HEPA air filtration devices, containments and all the proper controls because we are encountering mold on most job sites. We are also advising our clients to monitor their health because we know that mold causes respiratory and other health issues. As a final precaution, we have also been asking our clients to avoid doing their own basement tear outs because of the concerns caused by mold and asbestos. Asbestos is a huge concern and several of our projects are currently on hold because we are waiting for results from the lab that samples were sent to.
    When Disaster Strikes We Are Ready to Serve You_4,mould removal, mold removal, asbestos abatement, asbestos removal, flood, fire, flood restoration, fire restoration, dry ice blasting, dry ice cleaning, black mold, black mould, saskatoon, regina, yorkton, calgary, high river, Saskatchewan, Alberta

    When Disaster Strikes We Are Ready to Serve You!

    We are professionals, here to protect your health and help restore your life to normal. When Disaster Strikes We are Ready to Serve You!
    If you have questions, call us toll free, 1-888-909-6653 or use the form below.